Master Towing: Domestic
The Master Towing credential allows its holder to work as master onboard a towing vessel. The credential is issued with route endorsements for Oceans, Near-Coastal, Inland, Western Rivers and "Limited." For towing licenses, "limited" means a license to operate a towing vessel of less than 200 gross tons limited to a local area within the Great Lakes, inland waters, or Western Rivers designated by the Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection.
Service Requirements for Master Towing
- 48 months (32 months of 12-hour days) of total service of which 18 months (12 months of 12-hour days) have been on towing vessels as mate towing.
- 90 days (60 12-hour days) of this service must have been acquired on the particular route (i.e., Oceans, Near-Coastal, Inland, Western Rivers); or
- If a mariner holds an endorsement as master of towing vessels, he or she may have an endorsement-as mate (pilot) of towing vessels for a route superior to his current route on which he has no operating experience placed on the MMC after passing an examination for that additional route. After 90 days of experience and a completed Towing Officer's Assessment Record on that route, NMC will add it to the endorsement as master of towing vessels and remove the one for mate (pilot) of towing vessels; or
- Mariners holding a license or MMC endorsement as a Master of inspected self-propelled vessels of more than 200 GRT/500 GT or as first-class pilot, may operate towing vessels within any restrictions on their credential if they have a minimum of 30 days of training and observation on towing vessels for the route being assessed, and hold a completed TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record). In this case, the license does not need to include a towing endorsement if the mariner holds a TOAR.
- Master Towing Limited: If a mariner holds a license or MMC endorsement as mate (pilot) of towing vessels, he may have master of towing vessels (limited) added to his MMC for a limited local area within the scope of his current route.
- If a mariner began his service or training in the towing industry before May 21, 2001, he may receive a license as master of towing vessels if before May 21, 2004, he completed the examination required by 46 CFR 11.903(a)(18)(i) and meet either of the following two requirements: (1) Three years of service, including— (i) Two years on deck aboard a vessel 8 meters (26 feet) or more in length; (ii) One year on deck aboard a towing vessel, with at least 6 months of training or duty in the wheelhouse of the towing vessel; and (iii) Three months in each particular geographic area for which he is seeking authority; OR (2) Three years of service aboard towing vessels, including— (i) One year on deck, with at least 6 months of training or duty in the wheelhouse of the towing vessel; and (ii) Three months in each particular geographic area for which he is seeking authority. The license does not need a towing endorsement if the mariner holds a TOAR or a course completion certificate.
Note: Most but not all towing vessels operate on 12-hour day and are usually credited with 1.5 days of sea-time for every 12-hour day worked.
Examination and Assessments:
No examination is required for a mariner who has previously taken the Apprentice Mate (Steersman) examination, unless there is an extension in the scope of the license.
(Reference 46 CFR 11.464)
NMC Checklist for Master Towing